Friday, March 26, 2010

Cooking, for a change of pace

Cooking is something which I have not done a lot of lately so after watching the ladies from the county extension office prepare a healthy meal at the Christian Women’s Job Corps, I was inspired. Unfortunately not incredibly inspired, just a little bit inspired, to cook.  So instead of hunting a lower priced store I hit the one on my way home.  There I picked up almost everything that was called for:

  • chicken breasts, skinless, .43/lb @ $10/lb, $4.25
  • 12 oz of cottage cheese, $2.39
  • 32 oz plain yogurt, $2.19
  • 8 oz light sour cream, $1.49
  • 20 ct santa fe tortillas, $.99
  • roma tomatoes  .79lbs at .88 lb,  $ .70
  • colby cheese, $2.50
  • enchilada sauce, $1.79
  • bell pepper, red,  $.99
  • bell pepper, green, $1.69
  • cucumber, $.50

Ouch. Almost twenty dollars worth of food.  I should see what that would have cost somewhere else but perhaps I do not want to know. So.. on to the meal…

There’s only two of us and the meal serves 8 so my plans were to prepare about half of the recipe. The package size available at the store meant there would be a good bit of leftovers with some of those items. ISo sizing down, for the chicken enchilada dish I used portions of some things:  most of the yogurt is left, half the cottage cheese and the sour cream had nothing to do with the recipes so there’s all of that. Nearly all the tomatoes, half the bell peppers (half each that is) and only a portion of the cheese.

The recipe called for a different cheese, two types actually, I took the easy way out with just one. From twenty bucks our meal is now down to under ten and if I enforce portion size the chicken dish should serve us twice, while the salad will go a good bit more.

The fiesta salad is a mix of canned corn (already had that), tomatoes, cucumber and bell peppers with some seasoning and vinegar. It called for canned tomatoes but I prefer fresh. So there we go. All cut up and ready to eat – when the chicken dish is done in a few minutes! Almost a real meal instead of my usual, there’s some salmon patties, that’s it.

For a similar salad without the simple vinegar dressing visit Big Oven and for a similar enchilada dish check out I rarely follow recipes precisely and changing things to make them lower fat is easy to do if you wish.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

March Madness continues…

What can I say? We wanted to take a trip to California so I had to buy a car. Any excuse right? well the old one was a bit of a beater though I love it so now I’m the proud owner of a 2010 Mazda. zoom zoom…

The trip to CA was so nice! John and I left late on Friday so had a hard two days to get there by Saturday afternoon but we did it. Then the fun began. We made a visit to Anza-Barrego State Park and saw some neat metal sculptures at Galleta Meadows . The next day we went to Forrest Lawn Memorial Park to see the stained glass and much more. There was a sunset visit to Oceanside beach but also a visit to Torrey Pines State National Reserve. We were delighted to include an evening watching Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza in our plans as well.

And then there was the shopping. We enjoyed the discount stores and the second hand shops, picking up things as we went until my little car was stuffed! John picked up some nice clothes and so did I.. two reversible skirts from Coldwater Creek for four bucks each. I found a cloche for baking bread to mention a few things.

Of course we took plenty of photos.. John put up a few on his blog and also on his flickr account. While mine are not as good (much cheaper camera, MUCH cheaper, LOL) I do have a few up over on my picasa web albums that I hope are open to the public (that was the plan anyway, let me know if they are not).

We had a great time and I at least came back to Texas all worn out! Pleasantly so I will add.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010

March madness

Saw Alice in Wonderland last night. What fun!  And it is a good thing to take time out for some fun once in a while when in other areas of life problems pile up. Not all of them my problems but still they affect me.

My ulcerative colitis is flaring up again. It has been over a year since the last one. I had so hoped the meds were going to do the job and my worries were over.  The last time I had a bad flare up the doctor discussed the condition of my intestinal tract and surgery. Complete removal of the large intestine. I just want this flare up to go away!

Then there’s the lungs. That’s how I refer to it now, the lung issue. Coughing for ages (months) and finally figuring out that things like stumbling around were due to lack or oxygen, ha ha. It has been going on for four years now, off and on but mostly on.  We’ve tried different things, I think I’m fine and don’t go in til it bothers me enough to affect daily life.  An appointment with a pulmonologist is scheduled. Hope to find out what is the problem and what to do long term. And here I always thought of myself as healthy, in spite of the colitis. Sigh.

My youngest is off at work in Miami. The work vehicle is a rental supplied by his company. It was stolen yesterday. He had all of his tools in it.

The oldest lives in CA. Middle son and I have long planned on a trip out to see her. We have saved up for that but not enough to fly or rent a car. My car is back in the shop after just getting out last week. It is old now with a lot of miles on it. The mechanic advised against taking it on a cross country trip. Well, that pretty much rules out the trip. Not a thing to cry about yet it is frustrating at times. No money to buy another vehicle so there goes that. Yet I probably need to think of some day having to purchase a car to replace my 14 yo car with 247,000+ miles on it. That made me look at money, income and outgo.

It is so much nicer to not look at money things! Oh dear. Well if I included all the outgo, averaged it out right, my $1300 a month covers it all and leaves me about $200 a month leftover. That is the “discretionary” spending part. Personal items, clothing, car repairs, house repairs, maintenance etc. Not terribly discretionary but much of that can be put off a bit unlike the electric bill or food. Usually I depend on subbing to help but with the u.c. and the lungs that is not working out well this school year.

Well this is a downer of a post. Maybe no one will read it anyway. Off to find some fun on facebook with all my friends.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

March 2, Texas Independence Day!

This is a drawing of the Alamo Mission in San ...Image via Wikipedia

Here's to Texas Independence Day! *

To Willie and Waylon, the Alamo, the Palo Duro and the Big Bend, but most of all the wonderful people who call themselves Texans - to all that makes this a great state, we raise a toast today.

.. We're so happy to live in the great state of Texas!

*the historic event 174 years ago on March 2, 1836, the day Texas gained its independence from Mexico
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